In the early 1960's Mendels was run by Mendel and Sarah Herscowitz as a store that sold house paint and linoleum flooring. on Haight Street near Masonic. In the mid 60's the rents soared. Also Haight Street was a zoo. People everywhere,
The story goes that the landlord was going to increase the rent and so Mendel found a property just a block away that was for sale. In 1968 we moved into our current location selling art supplies and house paint. (The linoleum had been eliminated because it was heavy and with the hoards flocking the the Haight Ashbury, Mendel's customers had a hard time getting their vehicle close enough to the store to load up their flooring). Our store has a mezzanine which Sarah thought would be the perfect place to add sewing notions to the mix.
Mendel and Sarah had 3 children-- Bette, Louise and Maury. Of the 3, Bette was the only one actively involved in the business and in 1978 she officially took the business over from her parents-- which allowed them to be "retired" which meant they could work when they wanted and only when they wanted.
Louise had 3 children, Naomi, Emily and Darrell, who would come over the Golden Gate Bridge to spend the weekend with their grandparents from time to time and that meant getting to go to the store to "help out."
In 1991, after graduating from High School and spending a year abroad, Naomi started working at the store with her aunt Bette.
In 2005, Naomi had a son who was introduced to the store at the ripe old age of 3 weeks. When he isn't in school learning the basics he can sometimes be found helping out and learning the ins and outs of glitter, fake fur and feathers.
In October of 2013, Bette passed away. The store will continue changing with the times to carry on the family legacy under the direction of Naomi